Cowgar Family Adventures

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Is that one line...or two??

So yeah….where to begin? Obviously, the pictures show that we had a positive pregnancy test last Wednesday (18th). What is weird about the whole thing is that I’ve never had a positive pregnancy test before Aunt Flo was due…and Wednesday was 2 days early!! With Alexis I was a week late before the positive showed up, and with Lilly it was the day I was due. The estimated due date from the online calendars suggest a date of November 27th. That’s Luke’s birthday, and Black Friday!! (No shopping this year… lol) We are very excited and of course quite nervous.

For some background, in February 2008, my SIL had a miscarriage at about 6 weeks. That rocked the family, and kind of fast tracked our want for another baby. In March, I got pregnant, and so did she. She was two weeks behind me. We found out on April Fool’s Day that we were expecting, and I had my first appointment April 29th. On April 30th, I started to bleed, so on May 1st we had an ultrasound. That revealed a little baby bean, only the size of 6 weeks (we were supposed to be 8 weeks) and no heartbeat. We had started miscarrying. That weekend I had 2 birthday parties planned for Lilly (her first birthday parties). I had to go through one of the happiest moments in my life with something devastating happening to us. It was hard to tell everyone, because at the time, no one even knew we were pregnant. We made a stepping-stone for the lost baby (We named Riley Willow) and placed it out on our land in remembrance.

Since May, we have been trying to get pregnant again. At the end of October, I got another positive pregnancy test. Five days later, I started bleeding. Since it was so early (I was 4 weeks, 5 days) I went in for blood testing every 48 hours, and after 2 rounds, my progesterone was stable at below 5, which means no pregnancy. That miscarriage is called a chemical pregnancy, since it was so early an ultrasound wouldn’t have detected anything. I didn’t feel much with that one. It all happened so quickly; I was just numb from it.

Fast forward to December. That was our due date, and we took lovely pictures of some roses (you can see on the photo blog), and took them out to the land. SIL’s pregnancy was doing great, except the little booger decided to come 16 days late, so she wasn’t even born in December, she was born in January!!

So here we are now. We have some personal milestones to hit for this pregnancy, and we’ve already lasted longer than the chemical pregnancy we had, so that is makes us a bit hopeful, even though anything could happen. March 31st is our nurses’ appointment. We will be 5 wks 4 days. We never made it to an appointment with the chemical pregnancy. April 17th will be our 8-week mark, which is how far we made it with Riley. May 15th will be our 12-week mark, which will significantly decrease the chance of miscarriage, because we head into the second trimester. We will have heard a heartbeat by then if everything goes well.

I really do believe though, that loosing Riley was due to a viral infection. I started loosing my voice on what looks like the day after we would have conceived, and I didn’t get my voice back until I started miscarrying 8 weeks later! At 6 weeks, I went to a family physician and he prescribed a medication I took for a few days that he said would be safe. When we had our ultrasound, the baby had stopped growing at 6 weeks. I can only think that the medication along with the viral infection stopped the pregnancy.

So I nervously wait until the nurses’ appointment. I will then see if they want to treat me any different since I’ve had these previous miscarriages. It didn’t seem like the receptionist took notice of the message I left regarding them when I called in for an appointment. There’s nothing much that could be done anyways, besides blood testing that I would pay for out of pocket at $50 each time. That’s the great thing with crappy insurance. We pay for everything until the deductible is met, so lets hope we have to pay the full $2500 for a little one this year!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A New Lens for Daddy!

Monday we took a little road trip to Cleveland. Luke’s new Minolta 100-400mm APO just didn’t impress him as much as all the talk surrounding it should have, so he sold it on e-Bay, and we went up to Dodd’s Camera in Cleveland to pick up a new Sony 70-300mm G series. They actually have to order it in, but they let him bring home their showroom sample. All we can say is “WOW!!” That thing takes phenomenal pictures. We stopped for gas and came across some seagulls in a parking lot, and then we played around outside when we got home getting some bird pics and some other miscellaneous. I cannot wait to go to the zoo or an air show. We will get fantastic pictures.

I also received some 3T summer clothes for the girls from a lady on freecycle. I have a special email address set up just for freecycle so I get all of the posts emailed to me. Sometimes you get really great deals, and today was one of them. There were really nice clothes from Old Navy, Target, The Children’s Place, and Wal-Mart in the two grocery bags I picked up. I had at least 5 full outfits, along with tons of shirts and shorts. It will really help out, since I’m pretty sure all of the 2T summer outfits I have waiting in the closet for Lilly are going to be too small for her this summer, especially while wearing cloth diapers.

A Seagull in a K-Mart parking lot.

A fluffy bird trying to keep warm in the wooded area behind our house.


Lexi getting bird seed out of the bird bath.

A picnic for dinner.

Lilly in her purple car.

An American Robin (Isn't that picture fantastic?!)

Luke stalking his prey with his new lens.

The Wilderness Center in Wilmot

On Sunday we went to The Wilderness Center so the girls could get in a little walk and enjoy the nice weather. We went into the building first, since it was only open till 5pm, and we got there at 3pm. The girls loved the fossils on the walls, and it was jam packed with kids. Apparently it was Space Day. They had telescopes set up and activities for kids (older kids). They had a tree that had fake animals on it, and Lexi proudly told me that those animals were dead! (They were plastic, not dead) It amazes me what she knows! We checked out the indoor areas a little more, and bought them each an insect finger puppet at the gift shop. Lilly had a butterfly, and Lexi had a ladybug. On the way home she called it a Ladybird Beetle, because that’s what her insect book says it’s real name is. Did I tell you she is smart? Back to our adventure though, we took the trail that goes around Wilderness Pond. I didn’t bring a stroller, but the girls had their exploring backpacks on, so I was using Lilly’s as a handle to keep her near me. We saw some Canadian Geese, and went out on their little dock and threw in some bread to feed the geese and fish. Then trouble struck! Lilly dropped her butterfly in the pond. She immediately started running up the walkway to turn into the pond and go after it! She had a nice little meltdown, and we decided we should turn around and head back up to the building. They were only open for another 45 minutes, and we told Lilly we would buy her another butterfly. We ended up picking up a couple clearance photography books about birds, and packed them up to head home. We played outside for about an hour before heading in to get them cleaned up.

We also found out that The Wilderness Center is having a photo contest in April. Entries must be submitted by the 11th, and the judging will be the 18th and 19th. The photos and awards will then be presented on May 2nd. It’s $4 a picture to submit, but Luke may submit a couple and see if he places.

Sean stopped over around 8pm to go over the pictures Luke took of his kids a couple weeks ago. We just burned them on a disk after resizing them to different print size crops, so he can send them wherever to get copies.

All in all it was a great day, and hopefully we can have a lot more of them. We think we want to modify the girls’ backpacks though. They tend to fall off their shoulders, because they are still a bit big, so we will make them into harnesses to help keep the shoulder straps up, and while we are at it, we will probably connect a leash to them in the event that we need them in super busy place. That Lilly hates to hold hands, and I don’t know how else to keep her from melting down right now until she gets to the point that she understands, because I know she isn’t there yet.

Lilly inside the tunnel.

Lexi inside the tunnel.

Lexi standing next to her "dead" animal tree.

Lilly pointing to some fossils on the fossil wall.

We also got some cute video of them on my little Canon Powershot camera. That thing really comes in handy.

Here's Lilly honking like a goose.

Here's Lexi pointing out the geese. At the very end you can hear Lilly crying. She had just dropped her butterfly in the pond!

Here are the girls at the fossil wall inside. Lexi called the the fossils snails (a lot looked like snail shells) and Lilly calls dinosaurs "dragons" for some reason.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cousin Cody's Birthday Party!

On Saturday we did a quick stop in Canal Fulton to see our friends' new house they have been working on for weeks! We didn't stay long since Keith was feeling sick, so we headed back to my dad's to pick up my brother and head out to my Aunt and Uncle's place for the birthday bash. The girls were angels, and everyone wanted pictures when Lilly started eating the cake. Cody made out too! I can only hope I get that many presents for my birthday!! It was a full house, with 4 or 5 of his friends over, and all of Taresa's side of the family, and then us. He had a yummy DQ Reese's PB Blizzard ice cream cake. That's my kind of guy. I love ice cream cake!

Here's Cousin Dylan playing ball with Alexis and Lillian.

Here are the girls looking out the living room window watching Uncle Jesse (my brother) doing a flip on the trampoline.

Cody and his new fishing gear.

Cody tearing the paper off his new TV with Aunt Taresa watching.

Lilly devouring her cake.

Lexi being neat and clean with her cake.

Here's the video of Cody blowing out his candles. He blew so fast, I don't know if anyone got a good picture!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day

Hope you have green on! School was a pain the entire day if you forgot your green. Just a quick update to say we are alive and well, and for everyone to not worry about last week. I was sick and grumpy, therefore nothing was done around the house. We are playing with play-doh, The Backyardigans are on TV, and we expect Kendra in a half hour to play for the day. All is well. Luke is off working at Jeremy's, since it's his normal Tuesday. We hope to make it outside later today, because it's supposed to be gorgeous. And besides some cough and runny nose, we are all pretty much back to normal. I have some babies and a large pile of laundry calling my name for the day.

Our Wildlife Sunday

The girls and I still have the runny/stuffy nose. I just don't think it's going away. Saturday consisted of getting the house back in order from us being lazy throughout the week. We were supposed to have a photo shoot with my boy cousins on my mom's side, but they found out we were sick, and didn't want to be infected, so we rescheduled. So our Sunday was now free, and it was very nice outside. We bought a bird feeder and a bird bath, and worked on making a little nature area in the backyard that we will grow a bunch of wildflowers in.

While working at the top of the yard, Miss Lilly wandered away and by the time I looked up to realize, she was at the sidewalk in the front of the yard...clear down the driveway! I of course screamed at her in shear panic as a darted the almost 150 foot down the yard. The neighbours across the street heard me and made sure she wouldn't have ended up in the road, but she turned when she heard her name and came running back towards me. That was my first major heart-attack. I think Luke's set in later, but he didn't even realize what was going on until I was already half way to Lilly and there was no danger posing anymore. After that shake up, we packed in the car and got Starbucks for the first time in over 2 weeks (I'm so proud I had gone that long!), and decided to do some birdwatching.

We drove to our land, and down to Funk Bottoms, and out to Killbuck Marsh in Shreve. The girls had their spotting scopes, I had some binoculars, and Luke had his camera. They had a lot of fun, and Lilly took a nap. Our land had some cardinals and other birds, Funk bottoms didn't have much but some far away geese, and Shreve had some geese and a beaver. That was pretty cool! When we got back home, the girls played in the backyard for awhile.

I'll have to get pictures up of our entire wildlife area, but Monday morning we had our first visitor...a squirrel! We still haven't seen a bird on that thing, but the squirrels will climb right up the pole and get it. So here's some shots from the weekend.

Lexi's 3rd Birthday Party

Here it is...a week late. I have party pictures of Lilly playing peek-a-boo with Cody, Claire sleeping the the girls' tent, Lexi opening gifts, and all the kids throwing tissue paper around. It was a great day. I didn't run out of food (it was close though). I did run out of my reusable plastic plates, so we had to use paper plates as a backup, and Lexi made out! I didn't expect everyone that came, because almost no one RSVP'd, but I kind of expected that with my dad's extended family. You just bank on everyone coming, that way you're safe. She made out with a new wardrobe, coloring books, paint books, play-doh, hair bands, Dora toys, and everything else under the sun! So are the pictures...

After taking some pictures, Luke picked up the camcorder, because I had only had it for her blowing the candle out, and then helped her with presents. Here is the video of her blowing out her candle.

Friday, March 13, 2009

What A Week!

I haven't really been on a computer much at all this week. After Lexi's birthday party, it seems we all caught some cooties from someone. Lilly and Lexi both have runny noses and flemmy coughs, and I've had sneezes, coughs, fever, swollen glands, scratchy throat, body ache, I can't do anything kind of sickness. Fun eh? Better yet, after holding off going to his brother's house for a couple days, Luke finally goes up there today, while we are still all sick! Seriously? I barely acknowledged him when he left this morning, do you really think it's wise to leave me alone with 2 toddlers all day. Lexi threw up last night from coughing, and I popped some Tylenol PM just so I could sleep. It's now 3:30 in the afternoon, and I haven't even gotten a phone call to check up on us. I have about 2 1/2 hours this morning that I don't remember. I'm pretty sure I passed out on the couch, and the girls lunch consisted of cookies, chips, and popcorn. And he may not be sick, but he is probably carrying germs, and his brother has a 2 month old baby. If I was Crystal, I would have kicked Luke right out the door. I hate it when people are sick and then come over. I'm pretty sure that we probably didn't even get it from the birthday party, but from Kendra, because even though her nose was draining like the Niagara, Chelsea insists that she is over her sickness and not contagious. Ugh... I hate being sick.

I give up on trying to reason with him. I have dishes all over the stove, countertop, and floor. The platters from the birthday party still haven't been washed. I have two baskets of laundry that have been sitting upstairs all week that need brought down, and the only reason a load of laundry was done yesterday is because the bag with cloth diapers and cloth wipes was full and needed washed. And I'm the one that took them upstairs, put them in the washer, and hung them on the line to dry! I have popcorn and cereal all over the floor, and after I'm done with venting on this post, I'll probably pop some Tylenol PM that I have been trying to avoid all day because I know I'll pass out from it, because I feel that crappy. We still need to go grocery shopping too...

On top of that, I got a killer deal on some wool pea coats, and ordered a size medium, only to have them come in and be a bit tight in the shoulders. I bought them with the intention of losing a few pounds and fitting into them nicely, but who loses weight in the shoulders? I'll probably never fit into them...

I got in my supplies to make some lotions and soaps. I used my little food processor to blend up some avocado lotion. It's nice...but I don't have anything to put the lotion in right now except empty baby food jars.

Oh...and the best part of the day. We got a sex offender notification in the mail, about someone who lives right next door. Apparently 3 years ago he got tagged with gross sexual imposition with a victim under 13, and rape! Just what I need with 2 little girls running around the house. Time to go lube up the guns, because if he steps foot on my property, that will be the last step he takes!

I'll update with party pictures and stuff whenever I can get Luke to do the pictures...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lexi's New Wagon

Lexi’s Nana and Papaw (my grandparents on my mother’s side) bought her a wagon for her birthday and had it shipped here (they can’t make it up for her party, they're in WV). I took a bunch of pictures of her helping Luke put it together. The girls absolutely loved it. Kendra was here as well, and all 3 of them climbed into it and wouldn’t budge to give another more room. After Kendra left, we took a quick walk around the block, and then down Hamburger Hill (aka Beall Ave.) to Arby’s for some quick dinner. It had started sprinkling, but the girls didn’t mind at all with that canopy. Lilly was really upset at first, because she wanted to get out and walk around, but after she calmed down, she enjoyed the wagon ride just as much as Alexis did. Now we need to figure out if we can fit it in our car…

A Mother's Instinct...or Being Paranoid?

Your gut instinct, a sixth sense…call it what you will, almost every woman feels she has this. I believe that after having Lexi, mine went into overdrive, and after Lilly, I just flat out became paranoid. I stress about everything, I’m always anxious and nervous about things, and I have irrational fears. Sure I was a little anxious or depressed about things before having kids, but I think a psychologist would look at me with dollar signs in his eyes you know? Examples…

I feel like I’m having a panic attack whenever we drive across a long bridge, or a road with water on both sides. I fear the car plunging into the water, and Luke and I trying to get the girls out of car seats in a sinking car that is filling up with frigid water. They can’t swim; they can’t hold their breath. I get teary-eyed imagining the look on their faces when they can’t breathe under water. We actually have a little tool in the car now to break a window, since the windows are power, and I’m sure they wouldn’t work when the car is sinking.

Just this past week, the girls’ cousins came down with pink eye. Luke and his brother had just started taking turns going to each others houses for a day of work each week. It’s been a week since the outbreak, and they are cleared up, but I didn’t sleep last night because I was too busy panicking and crying about Luke heading up there today and bringing it home and Lexi getting pink eye right before her birthday party. I had been pleading with Luke all week to just cancel this week, and finally after seeing me so upset this morning, he called it off.

I now have a fear that one of us or both of us will die now that we have small children. I’ve set up life insurance for both of us, and since we don’t have wills (yet), I have a financial binder (that needs updated) that expresses our wishes if we both go. I know exactly what I need to do if Luke dies, but I have the binder all laid out so he will know what to apply for, and where to pay the bills, if I die. I especially have this fear when he travels, whether it be to his brother’s, or flying to Atlanta for his job. Do I sound crazy yet?

We live in a crappy neighbourhood. We have drug dealers across the street that the cops have stood on our porch telling us if we see anything suspicious to give them a call. It gives them a reason to search the place for drugs and weapons. The last neighbour we had beside us was selling herself for her drug habit, and ended up getting evicted because she was in a mental hospital (and obviously wasn’t paying her rent). The upstairs neighbour on the other side (we are surrounded by low income duplexes) must have a revolving door for sexual offenders, because the nice neighbour across the street has received notifications of two different guys living up there with a sexual predator history, and he knows we have small kids to worry about. So now we each have a handgun, and have gone through the conceal and carry course. We have a shotgun handy, we have baseball bats in various locations, along with some large maglites and some small tactical flashlights. We’ve had a window broken in the sunroom a few Christmas’s ago, and we’ve had some psycho lady knock on our front door at 1AM, only to find out she’s at the wrong house, so she goes to the backdoor and tries again, only to realize she’s at the same house, then she goes next door, tries to break in with a credit card, pounds on the door, gets let in (we had called the cops), gets kicked out, calls the cops herself, and takes a leak in the middle of the street before they get here. I am fully prepared to shoot anybody that comes through my door after bedtime, no questions asked. This leads me to the point where I just want to take the credit hit, and walk away from the house, since it will never sell for what we owe on it in this market, and in this neighbourhood, but we still have a lot of credit card debt, we have no place to go, and we probably wouldn’t be approved for a construction loan on the property after abandoning a house.

Walking or riding a bike in the city also gives me the willies. I came from a small glob of houses outside of a small town, so this living in the city thing creeps me out. I have this fear that a car will come crashing up onto the sidewalk while we are walking with the girls. I don’t carry my gun on me (I need to figure out a holster thing since I’m left handed), but Luke normally has his. I told him I’m pretty sure if that happened and one of the girls was hit and I knew they were dead, I am 95% sure I would take his gun and shoot the person in the car. Luke and Chris both said I would probably get off, because I could plead temporary insanity.

I’ve actually thought about learning another weapon besides using a gun. With a gun, you have to be completely aware of you surrounding, especially your backstop. I don’t want to shoot someone only to realize that the girls’ bedroom was behind the bad guy, and one of the girls could have been hit. There are these really cool collapsible batons called kubatons, that I think would be handy to carry around in a purse or something, and then I always thought it would be cool to be like Indiana Jones, and after watching a sharp shooter special on The History Channel, I found out that you can actually buy DVD’s that show you whip techniques. How cool would that be to walk down the street with a bullwhip on your hip? I’d have to buy a fedora just to complete the look!

So yeah, don’t know if I’m the only mother that feels this way or not. I guess I may just sound crazy and over paranoid, but I’m doing the best I can with it, and I’m sure as the girls get more independent and understand more, I will loosen up a ton. For now though, I guess everyone will have to deal with me:)